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Merkel begins third innings as German chancellor

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Merkel begins third innings as German chancellor
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Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel was voted in for the third time as the country’s head of government on Tuesday, following a vote by parliamentarians officially returning her to the position.

Once Ms. Merkel has formally accepted the vote, she will be presented with a certificate of appointment by German President Joachim Gauck at Berlin’s Bellevue Palace - the President’s official residence.

A third term was practically a given for the 59-year-old, who has been working since the September 22, 2013 election to negotiate an agreement between her centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

From 1.30 p.m. (6 p.m. IST) onwards, Ms. Merkel’s newly appointed Cabinet Ministers will in turn receive certificates of appointment, as well as taking the oath of office in the Bundestag, the German Parliament’s Lower House.

The new Ministers include Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) — set to take over the Defence Ministry from Thomas de Maiziere; Wolfgang Schaeuble, who remains Finance Minister; and former Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier — set to reclaim the top diplomatic job, which he held from 2005 to 2009.

Once the new Cabinet has been sworn in, the Ministers will gather for their first official Cabinet meeting, set to take place at 5 p.m. (9.30 p.m. IST) at the chancellery.

The event marks the beginning of the third so-called grand coalition in Germany’s post-war history. The last such government was in place between 2005 and 2009, also an alliance between the CDU-CSU and the SPD.

DPA

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